Should you wear red at work?

Submitted by HY on Tue, 12/15/2020 - 11:12
Wearing red

So you’ve got a key presentation today in front of an important client or your boss, or perhaps you’re heading out for a high-stakes interview for the job of your dreams. What do you walk out the door wearing for your big day? Common wisdom holds red to be something of a power color in professional settings. (You’ve probably heard an older man call a red tie their “power tie” at least once in your life.) Among the sea of blacks and neutrals common in most formal business settings, bright red does seem to be a good way to grab attention—but not all attention is good attention. So is red really a power color?

We dug through the science and long social history and consulted two stylists who work with professionals on their wardrobes to get to the bottom of the cultural myth about the power of red. The TL;DR: red can impress and make a statement at work, but it very much depends on the context, audience, and message you’re trying to send.

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